Batman: Arkham Universe – 10 Leaked Details You’re Not Supposed To Know –
Out of nowhere – and keep in mind, it could be all hogwash – another full breakdown of what Rocksteady are apparently working on has popped up.
First being posted over on ResetEra and later given a smidge of credence by PlayStation Lifestyle, it seems the beloved developers are returning to the Arkhamverse after all, “one last time”, to create the biggest and most expansive Arkham game yet.
Titled “Arkham Universe”, there’s… not a huge amount to like, but it stands to reason that Rocksteady must have something set to drop very soon, as the developers have been radio silent for over three years.
Their last project was the divisive Batman: Arkham Knight, to which rumours then flew left and right as to whether they’d be following up with a Superman game, perhaps a Justice League movie tie-in, or something else altogether.
Many E3s and various trade shows have come and gone, and still nothing. Whatever they’re working on will surely be suitably epic and justifying of a length dev cycle, and yet… if this is true… it doesn’t bode well.
10. Story Is Based On “Court of Owls”
As I break this new leak down, you might notice a staggering amount of similarities to the “Arkham Insurgency” leak from 2017. All that game’s “details” are here, but sufficed to say, to this day they haven’t bore fruit.
Now, at this stage we could say that the leaks have always been onto something, and that’s why they both corroborate, but, well, that’s something for the comments section. For now, the Arkham Universe leak mentions being based on the Court of Owls storyline, which is a personal favourite, and focuses on a sect of warriors and influencers at the heart of Gotham.
In Scott Snyder’s book, Batman is completely overwhelmed by the Owls and their members, and they almost kill him. It should make for a pretty riveting story and a set of formidable foes, though its placement after the finality of Arkham Knight is a bit of a roadblock.
9. Multiple Playable Characters – Usable In Free-Roam
Onto gameplay, and we’ll apparently be getting a fully playable Bat Family.
Comprising Batman, Robin (Tim Drake), Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman, Catwoman andRed Hood, the one that sticks out is Batwoman. Having formerly been referenced in Arkham Knight by leaving a voice message, we know Kate Kane exists in the world and is active in costume.
Providing we are continuing in the same timelime and this isn’t anything of a soft-reboot, we’d have to assume Kane married Maggy Sawyer (she mentions a wedding) and is now a bigger part of the overall story. Good on Rocksteady, if this is the case.
As for the others, their combat models were established across Arkham City and Knight, so it’s more a case of Rocksteady expanding on movesets rather than generating a bunch of new animations.
As the full squad of heroes is playable in open-world Gotham (more on that later), they won’t all get access to the Batmobile for traversal.
A fan-request going into Arkham Knight – and something more than a little inspired by The Dark Knight trilogy – it sounds like Universe will finally give fans access to Batcycles. The game world is apparently 1.5x the size of Arkham Knight, and even that saw various snaking pathways and connective routes tie together districts and regions to save time.
Adding cycles to the mix only opens the map up more, letting you bomb around in style.
7. No More Tank Sections
A sidenote of how much vehicles are a focus when getting around the city, the leak mentions they’re “only for traversal”.
This is likely in reference to the dreaded tank sections from Arkham Knight, as they were far and away the most talked about negative, dragging down the pace of the game and forcing us to endure repetitive busywork to get that 100% completion stat.
Whether Rocksteady have a suitable alternative is still up in the air (as is whether the game is real, of course), but knowing this portion will be ditched is music to many ears.
6. Gotham A “Living, Breathing City”, Plus Changing The Time Of Day
Another huge shakeup – it sounds like Rocksteady have listened to one of the biggest complaints across both Arkham City and Knight: The lack of pedestrians and general feeling of life in such a gargantuan city.
Though in Arkham Knight that was down to Riddler’s gas forcing citizens to evacuate, Arkham Universe will apparently feature a “living, breathing city”, likely filled with citizens, other police officers – maybe even fans of Batman.
Interestingly, you can change the time of day from morning to dusk, to night, taking a page out of Spider-Man when it comes to customising your surroundings before pounding some skulls.
5. Random Crimes To Solve
Speaking of pounding skulls and Insomniac’s Spider-Man, Arkham Universe will be Rocksteady’s first “proper” open-world game, i.e. something that comprises a massive play-space, but this time loaded with things to do. Namely, random crimes.
Remembering you’re policing Gotham from day ’til dusk, crimes will comprise “car chases, bank robberies and muggings” – much like Insomniac’s approach to giving Spidey plenty to do in New York.
A daytime Bat certainly isn’t commonplace – in fact one of the only popular examples I can think of is Dark Knight Rises – but if this is true, you’ll need to use the Batmobile or transport in general to keep Gotham’s underbelly in check 24/7.
4. New Enemy Types
Another part of the leak that was present in the Arkham Insurgency breakdown, we’ll apparently be getting enemies brought across from the Court of Owls books.
There are two types:
Talons: Said to be “the same as the ninja types from Arkham Knight”, these guys “can counter your counters” and “have their own gadgets”. The leaker mentions knives and throwing knives as what they’re equipped with, and it’s worth noting the Talons are Batman’s most fearsome opponents in the Court of Owls arc. Hopefully this means we’ll have to learn some new strategies to take them down.
Pilots: Another nod to Spider-Man’s Sable Task Force, these guys “hover the battlefield”, requiring you to “either use a gadget or dual takedown to get them down”.
In Spider-Man they were a nuisance, though a quick takedown or gadget could keep them in place long enough to finish the fight.
Though it’s not much, just these two new units do sound promising, if true.
3. Progression Tied To Batcave
The main hub for the game, Arkham Universe’s progression will tie all its open-world completion to the Batcave.
Apparently your “main hub for upgrades, character swaps, new missions and game modes”, it’s not hard to take this setup and imagine a game that plays like Agents of Mayhem. By putting the focus on upgrading stats across a healthy playtime, you’d likely be taking on a huge string of missions both main and side, unlocking abilities for Batman and the Bat-Fam, as well as those that can be used in tandem.
The latter points to the game’s multiplayer mode, but we’ll get to that in good time. There is one last thing that’s hopefully going to expand on our heroes’ base combat abilities…
2. Dual Takedowns In Combat & Twin Stealth Takedowns
You might remember Arkham Knight’s team-up segments where you got to bust heads with both Batman and Nightwing or Robin, and it’s this that Rocksteady have expanded in Arkham Universe.
Letting you and a friend play co-op, the leak also notes that there are “stealth segments” where you both “work together”. Likely involving distractions and specific takedowns to clear areas for better scores and upgrades, the dual takedowns we did see in Arkham Knight were brutal and brilliantly animated.
Would you like a more dedicated Bat Family/Batman & Robin game going forward? Let us know in the comments.
1. Wait… Multiplayer?!
We come to the final big detail… but also the one that could tank the whole project. As many fans will remember, Arkham Origins included an online co-op mode that now bears retrospective similarity to what Rocksteady are apparently planning.
Where Origins was developed by Warner Bros. Montreal – and therefore a team assumedly more susceptible to the whims of a maniacal publisher – it’s a strange fit for Rocksteady to not only return to Arkham yet again, but to go down a similar route.
According to the leak, a whole host of characters are playable across both co-op and the vaguely mentioned “multiplayer”, though playing as the full range of heroes and villains is contingent on “specific modes”.
As you can tell, this whole leak is supremely thin on the ground when you dig below surface level, but if it’s real… well… it might be time to say goodbye to Arkham’s good name.